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    Journey acquires mental health startup Felt to enhance its employee assistance program


    Employee-focused mental health company Journey is acquiring Felt, a startup formerly known as Mine’d that specializes in matching individuals with therapists using artificial intelligence. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Journey, which offers a mental health employee assistance program used by companies like Walgreens and Universal Music Group, says the acquisition aligns with its mission to revolutionize employee well-being and mental health support while leveraging the power of AI.

    Felt co-founder and CEO Aaron Albert told TechCrunch that the startup’s acquisition is a natural progression of its vision since it amplifies the company’s ability to make emotional wellness support not just accessible, but also personalized.

    “Joining forces with Journey enables us to leverage our AI-driven matching innovations on a larger scale, reaching more individuals through their extensive network,” Albert said. “It aligns perfectly with our foundational goal of easing access to effective mental health support and revolutionizing the way people connect with compatible therapists.”

    Felt’s technology leverages natural language processing and machine learning to analyze the factors that lead to a good paring between a user and a therapist. The technology considers factors such as communication styles, personality traits and shared values and more to predict compatibility. While Felt’s technology was initially designed for a consumer-facing app, it will be integrated into Journey’s backend product.

    Journey CEO and founder Stephen Sokoler told TechCrunch that Felt’s technology will be integrated into the company’s Proactive EAP platform. The company plans to pair Felt’s AI-based technology with its existing human-enabled therapist pairings in order to better match employees with therapists. Employees who are part of Journey’s platform are provided access to Masters-Level Clinicians, who after understanding the needs of the employee, will combine their expertise with Felt’s technology to find the perfect match.

    The acquisition comes a little over two years after Felt raised $3.5 million in a seed funding round led by Listen Venture.

    Journey has raised $6 million in funding to date in multiple rounds prior to the pandemic, led by Canaan Partners, Courtside Ventures, Betaworks, BDMI, HealthTech Capital and others. The company says it has grown 800% since then and does not need to or plan to raise additional capital.



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